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Resource abundance and regional development in China


  • Xiaobo Zhang
  • Li Xing
  • Shenggen Fan
  • Xiaopeng Luo


Over the past several decades, China has made tremendous progress in market integration and infrastructure development. Demand for natural resources has increased from the booming coastal economies, causing the terms of trade to favour the resource sector, which is predominantly based in the interior regions of the country. However, the gap in economic development level between the coastal and inland regions has widened significantly. In this paper, using a panel dataset at the provincial level, we show that Chinese provinces with abundant resources perform worse than their resource-poor counterparts in terms of per capita consumption growth. This trend that resource-poor areas are better off than resource-rich areas is particularly prominent in rural areas. Because of the institutional arrangements regarding property rights of natural resources, most gains from the resource boom have been captured either by the government- or state-owned enterprises. Thus, the windfall of natural resources has more to do with government consumption than household consumption. Moreover, in resource-rich areas, greater revenues accrued from natural resources bid up the price of non-tradable goods and hurt the competitiveness of the local economy. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2008 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development .

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaobo Zhang & Li Xing & Shenggen Fan & Xiaopeng Luo, 2008. "Resource abundance and regional development in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(1), pages 7-29, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:16:y:2008:i:1:p:7-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Havranek, Tomas & Horvath, Roman & Zeynalov, Ayaz, 2016. "Natural Resources and Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 134-151.
    2. Dauvin, Magali & Guerreiro, David, 2017. "The Paradox of Plenty: A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 212-231.
    3. Ying Fang & Li Qi & Yang Zhao, 2013. "The “Curse of Resources” Revisited: A Different Story from China," WISE Working Papers 2013-10-14, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    4. Fan, Rui & Fang, Ying & Park, Sung Y., 2012. "Resource abundance and economic growth in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 704-719.
    5. Wang, W., 2013. "Essays on model averaging and political economics," Other publications TiSEM 2e45376b-749e-4464-aba7-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Liu, Yaobin, 2014. "Is the natural resource production a blessing or curse for China's urbanization? Evidence from a space–time panel data model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 404-416.
    7. Renkow, Mitch, 2010. "Impacts of IFPRI's "priorities for pro-poor public investment" global research program:," Impact assessments 31, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Ohad Raveh, 2013. "Dutch Disease, Factor Mobility, and the Alberta Effect - The case of federations," OxCarre Working Papers 100, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    9. O Rourke, Fergal & Boyle, Fergal & Reynolds, Anthony, 2010. "Tidal energy update 2009," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 398-409, February.
    10. Elissaios Papyrakis & Ohad Raveh, 2013. "An Empirical Analysis of a Regional Dutch Disease: The case of Canada," OxCarre Working Papers 106, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    11. Kan Ji & Jan Magnus & Wendun Wang, 2014. "Natural Resources, Institutional Quality, and Economic Growth in China," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(3), pages 323-343, March.
    12. Liu, Xiaoyun & Wang, Xiuqing & Whalley, John & Xin, Xian, 2011. "Technological change and China's regional disparities -- A calibrated equilibrium analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 582-588, January.
    13. Ji, K., 2013. "Essays on tax policy, institutions, and output," Other publications TiSEM 37fb687f-c688-429f-937d-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    14. Shao, Shuai & Yang, Lili, 2014. "Natural resource dependence, human capital accumulation, and economic growth: A combined explanation for the resource curse and the resource blessing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 632-642.
    15. Martin Wielemaker & Eric Gedajlovic, 2011. "Governance and capabilities: Asia’s entrepreneurial performance and stock of venture forms," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 157-185, March.
    16. Ji, K. & Magnus, J.R. & Wang, W., 2010. "Resource Abundance and Resource Dependence in China," Discussion Paper 2010-109, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Yuxiang, Karl & Chen, Zhongchang, 2011. "Resource abundance and financial development: Evidence from China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-79, March.
    18. repec:wyi:journl:002163 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Elissaios Papyrakis & Ohad Raveh, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of a Regional Dutch Disease: The Case of Canada," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(2), pages 179-198, June.
    20. Schmelzer, Matthias, 2015. "The growth paradigm: History, hegemony, and the contested making of economic growthmanship," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 262-271.
    21. Yaobin Liu, 2013. "Energy Production and Regional Economic Growth in China: A More Comprehensive Analysis Using a Panel Model," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-12, March.

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